Iowa Public Television

 

Rep. Pat Murphy & Rep. Kevin McCarthy

posted on November 17, 2006

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Borg: SETTING A NEW AGENDA. DEMOCRATS NOW CONTROL THE IOWA LEGISLATURE. WE'LL QUESTION NEW LEADERS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SPEAKER PAT MURPHY AND MAJORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY, ON THIS EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.'

FUNDING FOR 'IOWA PRESS' WAS PROVIDED BY 'FRIENDS,' THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: CHANGE IS COMING TO THE IOWA STATEHOUSE. THE STATE'S GOVERNOR-ELECT, DEMOCRAT CHET CULVER, WILL BE WORKING WITH A LEGISLATURE CONTROLLED BY HIS PARTY. IN THE SENATE, UNLIKE THE PAST TWO YEARS WHERE SENATE REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS SHARED POWER WITH A 25/25 TIE, DEMOCRATS NOW HOLD 30 SEATS. HOUSE DEMOCRATS HOLD 54 SEATS, WITH ONE REPUBLICAN SEAT TO BE DECIDED IN A DECEMBER 12 SPECIAL ELECTION. WITH THAT ADVANTAGE, REPRESENTATIVE PAT MURPHY OF DUBUQUE REPLACES SIOUX CITY'S CHRISTOPHER RANTS AS SPEAKER OF THE IOWA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. AND FOR THE MAJORITY DEMOCRATS, REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN MCCARTHY OF DES MOINES REPLACES REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK GIPP OF DECORAH AS MAJORITY PARTY LEADER. GENTLEMEN, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW LEADERSHIP POSTS AND WELCOME TO 'IOWA PRESS.'

McCarthy: THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Murphy: THANK YOU, DEAN.

Borg: AND ACROSS THE TABLE, 'DES MOINES REGISTER' POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN AND 'ASSOCIATED PRESS' SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER.

Glover: SPEAKER MURPHY, LET'S STARTS WITH YOU. ONE THE FACTORS IN THE DEMOCRATIC WIN IN THIS MIDTERM ELECTION WAS SUPPORT OF ORGANIZED LABOR, AND THEY HAVE SEVERAL ISSUES ON THEIR PLATE AND WANT TO KNOW HOW THIS LEGISLATURE IS GOING TO DEAL WITH IT. THE FIRST IS THE MINIMUM WAGE. IS IT A DONE DEAL THE MINIMUM WAGE IS GOING TO BE INCREASED THIS YEAR?

Murphy: YES, I THINK WE WILL. I THINK YOU'LL SEE THE MINIMUM WAGE AS PROBABLY ONE OF THE FIRST BILLS, IF NOT THE FIRST IN BOTH THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE, THAT WILL BE TAKEN UP. AND WE'RE GOING TO BE LOOKING AT RAISING IT TO $7.25 AN HOUR, AND WE'LL PROBABLY DO THAT OVER A TWO-YEAR PERIOD.

Glover: LEADER MCCARTHY, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. THE MINIMUM WAGE IS GOING TO GO UP, AND IT'S 7.25?

McCarthy: THAT'S RIGHT. I THINK THAT EVEN THE MESSAGE FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE WAS THAT MOST ARE OPEN TO DO THAT, SO I'M FAIRLY CONFIDENT THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN RIGHT AWAY.

Glover: ANOTHER ISSUE THAT'S FACING THE STATE RIGHT NOW AND THE NEW GOVERNOR AND THIS NEW LEGISLATURE HAVE TO DEAL WITH IS THE STATE WORKER UNIONS ARE IN NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE STATE FOR A NEW TWO-YEAR CONTRACT. HOW MUCH MONEY ARE YOU WILLING TO PUT ON THE TABLE FOR INCREASING STATE WORKER PAY?

McCarthy: IT'S PROBABLY TOO PREMATURE AT THIS POINT TO GET INTO THOSE DETAILS. WE'VE GOT TO LET THE PROCESS WORK OUT. I MEAN THAT'S THE NATURE OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.

Glover: SPEAKER MURPHY, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU THINK IS AVAILABLE FOR STATE WORKER PAY INCREASES?

Murphy: WELL, THAT'S SOMETHING THAT REALLY THE PROCESS STARTS WITH THEM OFFERING A PROPOSAL TO THE GOVERNOR-ELECT AND THEN FOR THE GOVERNOR-ELECT TO MAKE AN ALTERNATIVE PROPOSAL. THEY'LL TRY TO WORK THAT OUT AND BRING A PROPOSAL TO THE LEGISLATURE. NOW, IN THE PAST, GOVERNOR VILSACK, WHEN HE'S HAD SALARY BILLS THAT HAVE INVOLVED CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS, HE TRIES TO LEAVE SOME WIGGLE ROOM FOR WHAT THOSE NEGOTIATIONS WILL BE WITHOUT PLAYING HIS HAND. AND SO I THINK WE'VE GOT TO LET GOVERNOR-ELECT CULVER NEGOTIATE THAT. BUT I DO THINK ONE OF THE THINGS PEOPLE NEED TO REMEMBER IS PUBLIC EMPLOYEES HAVE REALLY PAID A PRICE IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS WITH TIGHT BUDGETS. WE -- DURING THE EARLY PART OF THIS DECADE, 2001-2002, WE ELIMINATED 10 PERCENT OF THE STATE EMPLOYEE WORK FORCE. WE CUT THE BUDGET BY 10 PERCENT AS WELL. THERE'S BEEN THE WHOLE ISSUE COME UP OF MAKING SURE THAT CORRECTIONS IS ADEQUATELY STAFFED, MAKING SURE THAT WE HAVE THE STAFF THAT WE NEED IN SOME OF OUR DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONS IN THE STATE. SO I THINK WE'VE GOT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE GUARANTEE PUBLIC SAFETY WITH THAT.

Glover: BUT REGARDLESS OF THE DETAILS OF HOW YOU WORK IT OUT, THERE'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE A SIGNIFICANT POT OF MONEY SET ASIDE FOR MORE PAY FOR STATE WORKERS.

Murphy: WELL, THAT'S -- THAT'S THE CASE EVERY TIME YOU HAVE CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS, AND DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO BE RESOLVED TO FUND A SALARY BILL. WE'RE NOT GOING TO -- WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO LIKE REPUBLICANS DID HERE A FEW YEARS AGO WHERE WE ZEROED OUT THE SALARY BILL ONE YEAR AND ANOTHER YEAR WE FUNDED IT AT 60 OR 70 OR 80 PERCENT. OUR GOAL IS TO TRY TO FULLY FUND THE SALARY BILL.

Yepsen: MR. MCCARTHY, WHAT GUARANTEE DOES A TAXPAYER HAVE IN THIS? I MEAN YOU HAVE THE AFSCME UNION AND THE ISCA, BOTH OF WHICH HAVE SUPPORTED DEMOCRATS UP AND DOWN THE LINE. DEMOCRATS WON UP AND DOWN THE LINE. AREN'T YOU RATHER BEHOLDEN TO THE UNIONS THAT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO NEGOTIATE WITH?

McCarthy: WELL, WE'RE BEHOLDEN TO THE IOWA TAXPAYER, THE IOWA VOTER. SOME OF THOSE ARE MEMBERS OF UNIONS, AND SOME OF THOSE AREN'T. WHAT WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO DO -- AND TALKED ABOUT THIS YESTERDAY AFTER THE LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS -- IS TO CHART REALLY A CENTRIST COURSE TO SAY THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE A PARTY THAT GOVERNS IN THE MAINSTREAM AND NOT THE EXTREME, AND THAT MEANS HAVING ALL VOICES AT THE TABLE. OBVIOUSLY WE'RE DEMOCRATS, AND SO WHEN YOU HAVE ISSUES SUCH AS WORKER ISSUES, WE'RE GOING TO PROBABLY PROCEED IN A MORE WORKER FRIENDLY FASHION THAN WHAT THE REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN DOING. AND ON THE ENVIRONMENT, MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY AND SO ON AND SO FORTH. BUT WE'RE ALSO, WHEN WE DO THAT, GOING TO BE MINDFUL THAT THERE'S ALWAYS A BALANCE TO BE STRUCK.

Yepsen: ALL RIGHT. WELL, TO THAT END, RIGHT TO WORK. YOUR PARTY PLATFORM SAYS THE IOWA RIGHT TO WORK LAW SHOULD BE REPEALED. WILL YOU REPEAL IT?

McCarthy: LET'S BE VERY CLEAR, FIRST OF ALL, WHAT EXACTLY THE ISSUE IS THAT'S BEFORE US. I'M A MEMBER, AS A PROSECUTOR FOR THE POLK COUNTY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, OF AFSCME LOCAL 1868. OUR UNION NEGOTIATES AND, THEREFORE, WE RECEIVE CERTAIN BENEFITS. THERE ARE INDIVIDUALS, THEN, IN THE OFFICE WHO ARE NOT A PART OF THE UNION, NOT PAYING DUES TO THE UNION, THAT RECEIVE THOSE BENEFITS. IS THAT FAIR; AND THAT'S REALLY THE QUESTION THAT WILL BE BEFORE US. WE HAVEN'T HAD A CAUCUS ON THIS YET. WE HAVEN'T SURVEYED THE CAUCUS ON WHERE THEY'RE AT. I KNOW THAT'S AN ISSUE THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO WRESTLE WITH, BUT IT'S TOO PREMATURE AT THIS STAGE TO SAY WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO.

Yepsen: MR. MURPHY, DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT, TOO EARLY TO TELL US ON RIGHT TO WORK?

Murphy: I DON'T THINK WE'LL BE REPEALING CHAPTER 731 OF THE IOWA CODE, PERIOD.

Yepsen: WHAT ABOUT THIS FAIR SHARE THING THAT MR. MCCARTHY IS TALKING ABOUT WHERE A NONUNION WORKER WOULD HAVE TO PAY THE UNION FOR SERVICES THAT UNION PROVIDES TO THE WORKER?

Murphy: I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING WE'LL HAVE TO CAUCUS ON. I THINK THE BIG PART THE DEMOCRATS TALKED ABOUT IF WE GOT THE CONTROL THIS YEAR, WE TALKED ABOUT A PLAN FOR PROSPERITY WHICH COVERED THREE AREAS THAT WE FOCUSED ON. MINIMUM WAGE WAS A PORTION OF THAT. BUT TO GET INTO THE DETAILS OF, LIKE, FAIR SHARE, I THINK THE BIG PART IS WE HAVE TO SEE WHERE OUR CAUCUS IS AT BEFORE WE DECIDE ON A DIRECTION. BUT I THINK THE POINT THAT KEVIN MAKES IS VERY CLEAR IS THAT YOU HAVE -- THERE'S THAT ISSUE OUT THERE OF RECEIVING SERVICES FOR FREE. I DON'T GET TO GO TO THE 'Y' AND PAY A MEMBERSHIP AND YOU GET TO GO FREE, AND SO I THINK THAT'S THE OTHER ISSUE THAT'S OUT THERE. BUT, YOU KNOW, NOBODY THINKS IT'S RIGHT IF I GET TO -- IF I HAVE TO PAY MY DUES TO GO TO THE 'Y' AND YOU GET IN FREE, EVERYBODY IS GOING TO WANT TO KNOW WHY.

Yepsen: MR. MCCARTHY, ANOTHER ISSUE IS WORKERS COMPENSATION LAWS. THE UNIONS WANT THOSE LIBERALIZED TO PROVIDE GREATER BENEFITS. WILL THE LEGISLATURE AND THE NEW GOVERNOR BE DOING THAT?

McCarthy: I DON'T KNOW. WE'VE HAVEN'T HAD THAT CONVERSATIONS YET. I'M JUST BEING FRANK WITH YOU. WE HAVEN'T HAD THAT CONVERSATION YET. THAT, AGAIN, WAS ONE WHERE WE'RE NOT GOING TO -- WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE LIKE KIDS AT THE CANDY STORE, WHERE WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR YEARS AND YEARS TO GET IN AND NOW WE HAVE CONTROL, LET'S EAT ALL THE CANDY. WE'RE GOING TO BRING -- WE'VE PROMISED BUSINESS GROUPS THAT THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE A SEAT AT THE TABLE TOO. AND IF WE DO SOME THINGS THAT ARE MORE WORKER FRIENDLY, MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY, FOR EXAMPLE, WE'RE GOING TO ALSO HAVE BUSINESS AT THE TABLE SO WE CAN SAY HOW CAN WE PROVIDE SOME INCENTIVES TO YOU, HOW CAN WE PROCEED IN A VERY BALANCED FASHION.

Borg: REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY, AS SPEAKER-ELECT, I'M SURE YOU'LL BE WAITING FOR GOVERNOR-ELECT CHET CULVER'S BUDGET TO SEE WHETHER OR NOT HE'S RECOMMENDING A CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE AND, IF SO, HOW MUCH. WHAT WOULD YOU PREDICT? IS THAT CIGARETTE TAX GOING TO BE INCREASED? AND IF YOU WERE DOING IT, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE HOUSE ATTITUDE MIGHT BE? HOW MUCH?

Murphy: WELL, EVERYBODY WANTS ME TO PREDICT, BUT I'LL JUST TELL YOU THIS: BEING FROM DUBUQUE, I DON'T BET. WE DO HAVE A BOAT AND A TRACK. SO IS WHAT I WOULD SAY AT THIS POINT IS I THINK IS WHAT WE WILL DO IS WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT GOVERNOR-ELECT CULVER'S BUDGET. AND DEMOCRATS HAVE A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY HERE. WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GOVERN. IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT OCCURRED BACK IN 1965, THE LAST TIME WE WERE GIVEN THE CHANCE TO GOVERN, WE CREATED THIS THING CALLED COMMUNITY COLLEGES, WHICH OPENS THE DOOR TO 80,000 KIDS GETTING AN OPPORTUNITY TO HIGHER EDUCATION THAT WOULDN'T HAVE IT TODAY IF IT WASN'T FOR THOSE PEOPLE THAT RAN THE LEGISLATURE BACK IN 1965. WE'VE GOT TO LOOK AT THIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GOVERN AND DO IT IN A RESPONSIBLE FASHION. THE POSITION OF OUR CAUCUS AT THIS POINT, WE DO HAVE PEOPLE THAT ARE FOR THE CIGARETTE TAX AND WE HAVE PEOPLE THAT ARE AGAINST IT IN OUR CAUCUS. BUT I DO THINK THE BIG PART WE HAVE TO TAKE A LOOK AT IS SEEING WHAT'S IN HIS BUDGET, SEEING HOW WE CAN FUND IT. RIGHT NOW A LOT OF PEOPLE IN OUR CAUCUS FEEL AS IF WITH THE RECEIPTS THE WAY THEY'RE COMING IN, THERE ISN'T A NEED FOR A CIGARETTE TAX. THE LAST TWO YEARS THERE PROBABLY WAS. AND OUR POSITION THEN WAS THAT IF SPEAKER RANTS WOULD HAVE TAKEN UP THE BILL, WE WOULD HAVE HELPED HIM TO PASS IT, BUT WE DIDN'T HAVE CONTROL OF IT. WE'LL HAVE TO REVIEW HIS BUDGET, LOOK AT WHAT'S THERE. BUT THEN I THINK IF WE'RE GOING TO DO IT, I THINK IT WILL HAVE TO BE A BIPARTISAN EFFORT BECAUSE WE AREN'T GOING TO HAVE THE VOTES TO PASS IT IN THE HOUSE.

Borg: REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTHY, YOU SAID BEFORE YOU WERE GOING TO GOVERN MAINSTREAM, NOT EXTREME. DOES THE CIGARETTE TAX FALL UNDER THAT GUIDELINE?

McCarthy: WELL, IF YOU LOOK AT THE PUBLIC OPINION POLLS, ANYWHERE FROM 70 TO 80 PERCENT OF THE PUBLIC SAYS THAT THEY SUPPORT AN INCREASE IN THE CIGARETTE TAX. SO UNDER THAT THRESHOLD, IF THERE'S SOME THINGS THAT ARE DONE IN THAT AREA, THAT WOULD FIT WITH WHAT THE MAINSTREAM OF IOWANS WANT.

Glover: SPEAKER MURPHY, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WILL FACE THIS NEXT LEGISLATURE IS ONE OF THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES IN RURAL IOWA, AND THAT IS BIG HOG LOTS AND WHO CONTROLS THEM, WHO DECIDES WHERE THEY GO, WHO DECIDES WHERE THEY DON'T GO. WILL THE LEGISLATURE WEIGH INTO THAT?

Murphy: TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, MIKE, TO GIVE YOU AN HONEST ANSWER, I REALLY DON'T KNOW. WE HAVE PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES OF THAT ISSUE IN OUR CAUCUS. WE HAVE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO HAVE LOCAL CONTROL. WE HAVE OTHER PEOPLE THAT ARE OPPOSED TO LOCAL CONTROL. BUT IT'S NOT JUST THE ISSUE ABOUT LOCAL CONTROL. I STILL THINK THERE'S SOME OTHER ISSUES THAT ARE INVOLVED HERE. AND THERE ARE SOME SOLUTIONS, AND THAT'S WHAT I THINK WE NEED TO DO IS LOOK AND SEE IF WE CAN FIND SOME MIDDLE-GROUND SOLUTIONS SO THAT WE HAVE SOME LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM. AND I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS WE REALLY DO NEED TO FOCUS ON IS THE ISSUE OF CLEAN WATER. AND WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT'S THE FOCUS OF HOW WE CLEAN UP OUR IMPACTED -- ENVIRONMENTALLY IMPACTED WATERS AND STREAMS, LOOK AT HOW WE ADDRESS THOSE ISSUES, AND STILL ALLOW A VERY GOOD CLIMATE FOR AGRICULTURE IN THE STATE.

Glover: AND SO WHAT ARE SOME OF THOSE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO ADDRESS CLEAN WATER?

Murphy: WELL, I MEAN SOME OF THEM THAT WE'VE HEARD ALREADY IS I THINK THAT WE COULD TAKE SOME TAX CREDITS AND TAX INCENTIVES TO LOOK -- AND THIS IS JUST SOMETHING I'VE ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN, BUT WE HAVE PEOPLE THAT HAVE LOOKED AT SETTING UP DIGESTING FACILITIES, STARTING TO GO TO GREENHOUSES SO FARMERS CAN DO YEAR-AROUND FARMING. THERE'S ALSO THE POSSIBILITY OF HOW YOU STRUCTURE MANURE PITS, AND THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S BEEN DISCUSSED SO THAT INSTEAD OF HAVING MANURE PITS THAT ARE BEYOND FOUR FEET, IF YOU KEEP THEM ABOVE THE FROST LINE, YOU KILL A LOT OF THAT BACTERIA. IF YOU END UP WITH A LEAK THAT ENDS UP IN THE STREAM, IT DOESN'T DO NEARLY THE DAMAGE THAT IT WOULD OTHERWISE. AND THOSE ARE JUST A FEW THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN SUGGESTED, AND I'M NOT SAYING THOSE ARE THE ANSWER. BUT I DO THINK WE HAVE TO FIND THE MIDDLE GROUND ON WHERE WE CAN, ONE, MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY HAS NOT JUST FISHABLE AND SWIMMABLE WATER, BUT GOOD DRINKING WATER AND THEN, ON TOP OF THAT, HAVING A GOOD ENVIRONMENT FOR OUR AGRICULTURE.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTHY, IT SOUNDS TO ME LIKE LOCAL CONTROL IS OFF THE TABLE. AM I JUST MISREADING IT?

McCarthy: WELL, I DON'T LIKE THE BUZZ WORDS OF LOCAL CONTROL, STATE CONTROL. WHAT I WOULD VIEW MY JOB AS, AS MAJORITY LEADER, IS TO SAY WE HAVE MEMBERS IN OUR CAUCUS THAT WOULD LIKE THE SO-CALLED LOCAL CONTROL AND WE HAVE MEMBERS THAT MAYBE WOULD BE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT ISSUE. BUT THE ISSUE IS AS DEMOCRATS CAN WE PROCEED IN A MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY FASHION THAN THE REPUBLICANS HAVE. AND SO TO COME IN THE OFFICE AND SAY WHERE ARE YOU AT AND WHERE ARE YOU AT PARTY 'A' AND PARTY 'B' AND CAN WE TAKE A STEP TOWARDS EACH OTHER, WE MAY BE LOOKING AT SOME ADJUSTMENTS IN THE MASTER MATRIX. I DON'T KNOW. IT'S A LITTLE PREMATURE. BUT IT'S TRYING TO MOVE IN A DIRECTION THAT DEMOCRATS NEED TO MOVE IN BUT TRYING TO WORK THROUGH THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF OUR CAUCUS.

Glover: ONE OF YOUR JOBS AS NEW MAJORITY LEADER OF THE HOUSE IS GOING TO BE TO SCHEDULE LEGISLATION FOR DEBATE. IF REPRESENTATIVE YEPSEN WALKS INTO YOUR OFFICE ON JANUARY 9 AND SAYS HERE'S MY BILL FOR LOCAL CONTROL, WHAT DO YOU TELL HIM?

McCarthy: I SAY LET'S BRING IN THE FOLKS THAT ARE OPPOSED TO YOU AND TRY TO HAVE A VISIT HERE TO SEE WHERE WE CAN COMPROMISE. AGAIN, REMEMBER, IF DEMOCRATS AREN'T FOR A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT, THEN WHAT ARE WE FOR, BUT TO RECOGNIZE A REALITY THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE WITH DIFFERING OPINIONS IN OUR CAUCUS. WE'VE GOT TO FIND A COMPROMISE. COMPROMISE IS NOT ALWAYS A BAD WORD. YOU KNOW, GOOD -- AND LEGISLATION CAN COME OUT OF A COMPROMISE.

Yepsen: ANOTHER ISSUE IS TAX POLICY. FOR YEARS DEMOCRATS HAVE SUGGESTED THAT IOWA SHOULD REPEAL THE ABILITY TO DEDUCT YOUR FEDERAL INCOME TAXES YOU PAY BEFORE YOU CALCULATE YOUR STATE INCOME TAX BILLS AND THAT THIS, THEY SAY, WOULD MAKE THE TAX SYSTEM FAIR AND SIMPLER AND YOU COULD DO IT IN SUCH A WAY THAT YOU WOULD STILL RAISE JUST AS MUCH REVENUE, ALTHOUGH WELL-TO-DO PEOPLE WOULD PAY MORE. SO, MR. MCCARTHY, FEDERAL DEDUCTABILITY, WILL YOU REPEAL FEDERAL DEDUCTABILITY OR NOT?

McCarthy: THERE WOULD HAVE TO BE AN EDUCATIONAL PROCESS THAT WE NEED TO WORK THROUGH. I KNOW THAT IT'S BEEN OUT THERE FOR A COUPLE YEARS. BUT THE ISSUE IS THAT OUR RATES APPEAR ARTIFICIALLY HIGH SO IT MAKES US LOOK NOT AS COMPETITIVE AROUND THE COUNTRY. SO ONE WAY WOULD BE TO LOWER THE RATES AND GET RID OF FEDERAL DEDUCTABILITY, AND THERE ARE MANY THAT ARE FOR THAT. BUT THE PUBLIC IS REALLY NOT THERE YET, I THINK, AND SO WE NEED TO GO THROUGH MORE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS AND TO SEE WHERE THEY'RE AT.

Yepsen: DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT, SPEAKER MURPHY?

Murphy: YES, I WOULD. I THINK THE PART YOU'VE GOT TO REMEMBER ABOUT -- WITH FEDERAL DEDUCTABILITY IS DEMOCRATS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TRYING TO MAKE THE TAX SYSTEM WHERE IT BECOMES MORE PROGRESSIVE. IF WE ROLL IT IN THE RATES, WE BECOME MORE COMPETITIVE WITH OUR SURROUNDING STATES. BUT I DO THINK THE OTHER PART TOO IS WE NEED TO FOCUS ON WHAT WE HAVE IN COMMONALITY WITH THE SENATE AND WITH THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE. THAT WAS NOT A HUGE DEBATE, AS I REMEMBER, IN ANY LEGISLATIVE RACES. BUT IT'S SOMETHING WE COULD LOOK AT, BUT IT'S NOT ON THE TOP OF OUR PLATE. AT THE TOP OF OUR PLATE STILL ARE THE THINGS THAT WE TALKED ABOUT BOTH IN THE CULVER PLAN TO GROW IOWA AND WHAT THE PLAN FOR PROSPERITY IS FOR HOUSE DEMOCRATS.

Glover: SPEAKER MURPHY, ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT YOU TALKED ABOUT IN YOUR PACKAGE THAT YOU TROTTED OUT IN SEPTEMBER WAS COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAXES. YOU SAY THE COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAXES IN IOWA ARE WAY ABOVE NEIGHBORING STATES AND YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. THAT'S EXPENSIVE. HOW DO YOU PAY FOR THAT, AND HOW QUICKLY CAN YOU ADDRESS THAT ISSUE?

Murphy: I'LL BE HONEST WITH YOU. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT REPUBLICANS HAVE WORKED ON FOR FIVE YEARS AND THE ONLY THING THEY COULD COME UP WITH WAS THE BILL THAT THEY DID TWO YEARS AGO, WHICH BASICALLY WOULD CRUSH CITY AND COUNTY GOVERNMENTS BECAUSE IT WOULD JUST START ROLLING BACK COMMERCIAL PROPERTY LIKE AG AND LIKE RESIDENTAL. SO I THINK IS WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS -- THAT'S THE POINT WHEN WE TALKED ABOUT THE PLAN FOR PROSPERITY, DEMOCRATS COULD NOT AGREE ON WHAT THAT POSITION SHOULD BE BUT THAT WE WOULD STUDY IT AND HAVE A PLAN OF ACTION. GOVERNOR-ELECT CULVER HAS ALSO -- IS GOING TO BE SETTING UP A TASK FORCE TO LOOK AT THIS ISSUE, AND SO I THINK DEMOCRATS ARE REALLY FOCUSED. AND I THINK THIS IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ISSUE FOR CURRENT EXISTING BUSINESS IN THIS STATE. YOU HAVE SOME COMMUNITIES WHERE RESIDENTAL PROPERTY IS RISING AT, YOU KNOW, SINGLE DIGIT RATES OR NOT AT ALL, AND THEN YOU HAVE COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAXES RISING AT DOUBLE DIGITS. THIS IS GOING TO BE PROBABLY THE BIGGEST ISSUE THAT WE CAN ADDRESS FOR BUSINESS IN THE NEXT TWO YEARS, AND DEMOCRATS ARE RESOLVED THAT WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO FIND A SOLUTION FOR IT.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTHY, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. HOW QUICKLY CAN YOU REALISTICALLY ADDRESS THIS ISSUE? IT'S SOMETHING THAT EVERYBODY TALKS ABOUT. IT'S EXPENSIVE. HOW QUICKLY CAN IOWANS EXPECT TO SEE SOME RELIEF HERE?

McCarthy: LET'S GIVE A REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE ABOUT THIS COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAX ISSUE. IF YOU'RE IN AN APARTMENT COMPLEX IN DES MOINES, YOU'RE TAXED AT ABOUT SEVEN TIMES THE RATE AS ONE IN DENVER, COLORADO. SOME REPORTS SAY WE'RE EITHER THE THIRD OR FOURTH HIGHEST IN THE COUNTRY. THAT GETS PASSED ONTO THE PEOPLE THAT ARE LIVING THERE AND RENTING THERE IN TERMS OF HIGHER RENT, AND BUSINESSES ARE ALSO SUFFERING AS A RESULT. HOW SOON? THAT'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF WORK, A LOT OF WORK. AND SO I WOULD SUSPECT THE EARLIEST WOULD BE MID TO LATE SESSION IF WE CAN DO SOMETHING. BUT THERE'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE A BIPARTISAN EFFORT, A LOT OF WORK DONE, BUT IT'S NOT GOING TO BE --

Glover: IS IT EVEN REALISTIC TO SUGGEST THAT THIS UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE SESSION CAN ADDRESS THE ISSUE? WILL IT TAKE MORE THAN ONE YEAR TO SOLVE?

McCarthy: IT COULD BUT I THINK BOTH PARTIES ARE WILLING AND ABLE TO GET TOGETHER AND DO SOMETHING ON IT. THIS IS GOING TO BE A BIPARTISAN ISSUE. WHEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE WORKING ACROSS THE AISLE WITH EACH OTHER, THINGS CAN HAPPEN MUCH MORE QUICKLY THAN OTHERWISE IT WOULD. SO THERE'S STILL SOME POSSIBILITIES FOR THIS SESSION, I BELIEVE.

Yepsen: WELL, MR. MCCARTHY, I JUST HEARD YOU SAY MAYBE NOTHING WILL HAPPEN. I MEAN YOUR ALTERNATIVES -- THERE'S A REASON WHY NOTHING HAS HAPPENED ON THIS ISSUE, AND THAT IS THE ALTERNATIVES ARE SO BAD. YOU COULD -- TO LOWER COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAXES, YOU EITHER RAISE RESIDENTIAL AND FARMLAND PROPERTY TAXES; NOBODY LIKES THAT. YOU EITHER CUT AID TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND SCHOOLS; NOBODY LIKES THAT. OR YOU BUY DOWN THOSE TAXES WITH SALES AND INCOME TAX REVENUES, WHICH NOBODY LIKES THAT IDEA. SO IS IT NOT FAIR TO PUT A BOTTOM LINE ON THIS THING AND SAY NOTHING MAY HAPPEN ON COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAXES?

McCarthy: NO, I DON'T THINK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A CAN'T-DO ATTITUDE. WE'RE GOING TO GET IN AND ROLL UP OUR SLEEVES AND GO TO WORK. IF IT DOESN'T HAPPEN, IT'S NOT GOING TO BE BECAUSE WE'RE NOT TRYING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

Yepsen: SO WHICH ONE OF THESE THREE GROUPS THAT I JUST MENTIONED ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE MAD?

McCarthy: WE'RE NOT GOING TO MAKE THEM MAD. WE'RE GOING TO GET IN AND TRY TO FIND SOME POSITIVE SOLUTIONS. THERE'S NO ILLUSIONS HERE. WE SAID THIS YESTERDAY; THIS IS GOING TO BE A LOT OF HARD WORK. THAT'S WHY YOU HAVEN'T SEEN DEMOCRATS RUNNING AROUND JUMPING AND CHEERING EVERY DAY, BECAUSE WE KNOW THERE'S A LOT OF HEADACHES AHEAD OF US. BUT WE'RE GOING TO PROCEED IN A MATURE FASHION AND TRY TO HAVE SOME POSITIVE RESULTS. WE'RE COMMITTED TO THAT.

Yepsen: SPEAKER MURPHY, ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT IS IN YOUR PLATFORM AND WAS IN THE GOVERNOR-ELECT'S WAS ETHANOL AND BIOFUELS. WHAT MORE CAN THE STATE DO? I MEAN EVERYBODY IS FOR HELPING ETHANOL AND BIOFUELS. YOU'VE PASSED SUBSIDIES AND INCENTIVES AND ALL THAT KIND OF STUFF. WHAT MORE IS THERE TO BE DONE?

Murphy: THERE'S ACTUALLY A LOT MORE TO BE DONE. WE'VE DONE -- ALL RIGHT, WE'VE DONE ETHANOL. LAST YEAR WE DID SOME TRANS -- CONVERSION OF E85. WE'VE DONE SOME THINGS IN THE AREA OF SOY DIESEL. AND SO WE'VE ADDRESSED THREE AREAS, BUT ONE AREA THAT THE REPUBLICANS VOTED DOWN WAS THE WHOLE ISSUE OF BIOREFINERIES. THERE'S $250 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS THAT ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS LAST CONGRESS, AND LAST YEAR THE HOUSE DEMOCRATS OFFERED A PLAN THAT IS NOW BY SENATOR-ELECT ROB HOGG, AND THAT WOULD ALLOW FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SET UP FIVE TO SIX MILLION. I THINK WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT MORE THAN $5- TO $6 MILLION FOR BIOREFINERIES BECAUSE THIS COULD BE THE NEW NEXT STEP OF WHAT ELSE CAN WE USE IN VALUE-ADDED AGRICULTURE TO BE THE NEXT ETHANOL TO CREATE ANOTHER FORM OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCE. THAT'S WHAT I THINK WE NEED TO FOCUS ON, AND THAT'S AREA THAT WE NEED TO ADDRESS.

Borg: THAT'S A SUBSIDY FOR BUILDING THOSE PLANTS; IS THAT IT?

Murphy: WELL, IT'S NOT JUST A SUBSIDY BECAUSE HERE'S WHAT -- HERE'S WHAT ENDED UP HAPPENING. FIRST OF ALL, YOU HAVE FEDERAL MONEY THAT'S AVAILABLE, BUT YOU HAVE LARGE CORPORATIONS, SOME OF THEM NOT IN IOWA NOW, THAT IS ACTUALLY AN ADDED ATTRACTION TO CREATE NEW JOBS, HIGH-TECH JOBS. AND THEN ALONG WITH THAT, YOU'RE BRINGING NEW INDUSTRY INTO THE STATE AND YOU'RE ALSO SUPPLEMENTING AND ADDING NEW VALUE TO AGRICULTURE AND TO FARMERS. SO I JUST SEE IT AS A WIN-WIN-WIN, AND I THINK THAT'S THE ONE AREA THAT WE REALLY STILL NEED TO ADDRESS.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTHY, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE IN BOTH PARTIES HAVE TALKED ABOUT IS CREATING RISK POOLS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES TO JOIN TOGETHER TO OFFER HEALTH CARE FOR THEIR WORKERS. IF THAT'S SUCH A GOOD IDEA, HOW DOES THAT WORK?

McCarthy: WELL, INSURANCE, OF COURSE, AND AS IT RELATES TO RATES IS ALL RELATED TO THE AMOUNT OF RISK IN A GIVEN POOL. SO IF YOU CAN CREATE A LARGER POOL, YOU CAN LOWER THE RISK. AND THAT WAS DONE IN I BELIEVE IT WAS MAINE -- WAS IT MAINE?

Murphy: THAT'S CORRECT.

McCarthy: AND THAT, COUPLED WITH MY IDEA SUCH AS REINSURANCE, CAN REALLY REDUCE RISK. BUT HOW DOES REINSURANCE WORK, FOR EXAMPLE. YOU HAVE A GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED POT OF MONEY, SO WHERE SOME FAMILIES WHO ARE UNDER A GIVEN HEALTH PLAN AND HAVE A REALLY CATASTROPHIC ILLNESS AND THEIR RATES ARE INCREASING, THEY CAN BE TAKEN OUT OF THAT POOL, PUT INTO ANOTHER ONE UNTIL THAT SITUATION RESOLVES ITSELF, AND THEN PUT BACK IN IT SO THAT THE RISK IS KEPT IN CHECK SO THAT RATES ARE LOWERED. IT'S BASICALLY INCREASING THE POOL, LOWERING THE RISK TO KEEP RATES DOWN.

Glover: SO THE GOVERNMENT'S ROLE IN CREATING THOSE POOLS IS TO TAKE OVER CARE OF CATASTROPHIC CASES?

McCarthy: IN THAT PARTICULAR PORTION OF REINSURANCE, YES.

Glover: SPEAKER MURPHY?

Murphy: IT COULD BE. AND HERE'S THE PROBLEM WE'RE HAVING. WE HAVE SMALL BUSINESSES THAT ARE SEEING 30-, 35-PERCENT INCREASES IN ONE YEAR IN THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE. THIS IS BECOMING THE BIGGEST IMPEDIMENT TO SMALL BUSINESS IN THE STATE. SO -- AND THIS IS NOT SOMETHING NEW FOR HOUSE DEMOCRATS. IF YOU GO BACK, REPRESENTATIVE BOB OSTERHAUS INTRODUCED A BILL IN, I THINK, 2003 OR 2004. WE REINTRODUCED THAT BILL IN THE NEXT BIENNIUM. REPUBLICANS DEBATED IT LAST YEAR BUT THEN DEFERRED THE BILL ON THE FLOOR. WE REALLY WANT TO BE ABLE TO FOCUS ON THE SMALL INSURANCE POOL SO THAT WE HAVE THE ABILITY FOR, ONE, TO ALLOW THEM TO GET INTO A LARGER POOL SO THAT THEY CAN GET CHEAPER RATES, BECAUSE THEY'RE NEGOTIATING IN A LARGER POOL. WE'VE GOT TO WORK OUT HOW THAT'S GOING TO OCCUR. BUT I DO THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MAY END UP OCCURRING IS THE WHOLE ISSUE OF REINSURANCE. ALL IT TAKES IS FOR ONE SICK EMPLOYEE TO SEE THOSE HUGE INCREASES. AND SO THE GOAL NEEDS TO BE THAT IF THE STATE NEEDS TO TAKE OVER TEMPORARY, LIKE, THAT HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN SO THAT EVERYBODY ELSE IN THAT PLAN STAYS AT A LOW RATE AT THE RATE OF INFLATION, THAT'S OUR GOAL. YOU KNOW, DEMOCRATS REALLY DO BELIEVE THAT IF YOU WORK HARD AND PLAY BY THE RULES, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET A JOB AND HAVE GOOD HEALTH INSURANCE, AND THAT'S A PIECE OF IT.

Glover: SO A PIECE OF YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE PACKAGE WOULD BE GOVERNMENT COVERAGE OF CATASTROPHIC CASES?

Murphy: COULD BE. I'M NOT SAYING IT WILL, BUT IT COULD BE.

Yepsen: WHAT'S IT COST?

Murphy: THE GOVERNOR PROPOSED THAT LAST YEAR IN HIS BUDGET, AND HE HAD $20 MILLION FOR IT.

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, I'VE GOT TO BACK UP A MINUTE. WE'VE SAT OUT HERE AND WE'VE TALKED ABOUT SEVERAL THINGS: PAY RAISES, HIGHER TEACHER PAY, NOW THERE'S HEALTH INSURANCE, COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAXES, SUBSIDIES FOR ETHANOL. WE HAVEN'T TALKED ABOUT MORE MONEY FOR UNIVERSITIES. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO DO ALL THIS WITHOUT RAISING THE CIGARETTE TAX?

Murphy: I WAS WONDERING WHEN YOU WERE GOING TO GET TO THAT. AND IT'S -- DAVID, RIGHT NOW WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE STATE RECEIPTS, WE HAVE SOME OF THE BEST STATE RECEIPTS WE'VE SEEN IN ABOUT EIGHT TO TEN YEARS. AND PART OF THE REASON -- PART OF THE REASON SOME OF THESE ISSUES ARE HAVING TO BE ADDRESSED -- AND THAT'S PART OF THE REASON DEMOCRATS ARE TALKING ABOUT A REFOCUS ON EDUCATION -- IS BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T TAKEN CARE OF SOME OF THOSE AREAS. AND SO WE REALLY BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE TO REFOCUS ON THE SERVICES THAT PEOPLE LOOK AT GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE. AND SO WE THINK THE STATE RECEIPTS RIGHT NOW ARE THERE. WE HAVE RECORD RECEIPTS. I HAVEN'T LOOKED AT THEM RECENTLY, BUT I KNOW THAT THEY'RE OFF THE CHARTS. NOW, I'M NOT SAYING IT'S GOING TO STAY THAT WAY, BUT THE R.E.C. IS GOING TO MEET AND I THINK THE NUMBERS ARE LOOKING FAIRLY GOOD. AND WE MAY BE ABLE TO DO MOST OF THIS, AND MAYBE ALL OF IT, BUT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE HARD DECISIONS TOO. WHEN IT COMES TO THE HARD DECISIONS, WE'RE GOING TO ROLL BACK TO THE PLAN FOR PROSPERITY. THOSE ARE GOING TO BE OUR TOP ISSUES. WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT REINVESTING IN EDUCATION FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD THROUGH GRADUATE SCHOOL. WE'RE GOING TO FOCUS ON WHAT WE CAN DO FOR BUSINESS, AND THE THIRD PIECE WILL BE MAKING IOWA A GREENER STATE.

Yepsen: MR. MCCARTHY, ARE YOU MAKING MORE SPENDING PROMISES THAN YOU CAN MEET?

McCarthy: I DON'T THINK SO. LOOK, WE'VE BEEN IN THE MINORITY FOR FOURTEEN YEARS, AND WE WANTED TO SEND A MESSAGE THAT WE HAD GOOD CANDIDATES RUNNING LOCALLY AND THAT WE WERE GOING TO, IF GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO GOVERN, GOVERN IN A MAINSTREAM WAY. SO WE PUT OUT OUR GOALS CALLED THE PLAN FOR PROSPERITY. IT'S BASICALLY SAYING THESE ARE OUR PRIORITIES. WE RECOGNIZE THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO OPERATE WITHIN A BUDGET. IT WAS THE DEMOCRATS, YOU KNOW, THAT SET UP THE CASH RESERVE FUNDS AND REALLY SET OUT A COURSE OF FISCAL DISCIPLINE THE LAST TIME WE WERE IN CONTROL. WE'RE GOING TO GOVERN WITHIN A BUDGET, BUT WE'RE ALSO SAYING THESE ARE OUR PRIORITIES.

Yepsen: WHAT -- EXCUSE ME. IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOUSE DEMOCRATS AND SENATE DEMOCRATS AND THE GOVERNOR? WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A LOT OF DIFFERENT SUBJECTS HERE, BUT RIGHT NOW AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE SESSION, DO YOU SEE ANY PLACES WHERE THERE'S DAYLIGHT, WHERE YOU DIFFER WITH THE GOVERNOR, WHERE YOU DIFFER WITH THE SENATE THAT YOU KNOW WILL BE A FLASHPOINT IN THE SESSION?

Murphy: ACTUALLY TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, I WOULD SAY AT THIS POINT NO BECAUSE WHAT GOVERNOR-ELECT CULVER TALKED ABOUT IS WHAT HOUSE DEMOCRATS TALKED ABOUT. WE MIGHT HAVE HAD DIFFERENT PLANS. MAYBE SOME OF THE DETAILS ARE DIFFERENT, BUT OUR FOCUS IS THE SAME. AND SENATE DEMOCRATS I KNOW WERE TALKING ABOUT THE PLANS THAT WE BOTH HAD OUT. THEY GENERALLY COULD AGREE WITH THEM. SO I THINK -- I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE THE FOCUS BE EDUCATION, WHAT WE CAN DO FOR BUSINESS, AND A GREENER STATE.

Glover: SPEAKER MURPHY, I'D LIKE TO GET YOU TO ADDRESS A LITTLE BIT LARGER QUESTION, AND THAT'S WHAT YOUR ELECTION AS SPEAKER AND WHAT REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTHY'S ELECTION AS MAJORITY LEADER SAYS ABOUT THE CONDITION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN THIS STATE. NEITHER ONE OF YOU HAVE BEEN ACCUSED, IN RECENT YEARS THAT I CAN TELL, OF BEING FLAMING LIBERALS. YOU'RE PRETTY MUCH MODERATE, CENTRIST TYPE DEMOCRATS, AND THAT SEEMS TO BE THE DIRECTION YOUR CAUCUS IS TAKING. IS THAT A BAD READ? TELL ME ABOUT THAT.

Murphy: I'LL JUST TELL YOU THIS, MIKE, SOME PEOPLE -- IF YOU TALK TO THE CONSERVATIVES IN THE CAUCUS, THEY'LL PROBABLY SAY I'M TOO LIBERAL. AND IF YOU TALK TO THE LIBERALS, THEY'LL SAY I'M TOO CONSERVATIVE. I THINK THE BIG PART THAT PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND -- FIRST OF ALL, THE ENTIRE LEADERSHIP TEAM THAT WE HAVE WAS REELECTED THAT WE HAD TWO YEARS AGO, AND THEY WORKED VERY WELL TOGETHER. BUT I THINK THE BIG GOAL IS WE UNDERSTAND THERE'S LIMITATIONS ON WHAT WE CAN DO IN GOVERNMENT. AND ALONG WITH THAT, WE'VE BEEN GIVEN A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY, SO WE'RE GOING TO ATTEMPT TO GOVERN WITH THAT IN MIND. BUT I THINK GENERALLY WE'VE BEEN -- I THINK THE BIG PART IS I DON'T THINK WE WERE ELECTED BECAUSE WE WERE TOO LIBERAL OR TOO CONSERVATIVE. I THINK WE WERE PROBABLY ELECTED BECAUSE WE TRY TO WORK WITH THE CAUCUS IN GETTING CONSENSUS. -- WE'RE NOT GOING TO MAKE EVERYBODY HAPPY -- BUT I THINK THAT'S PROBABLY OUR STRENGTH IN THIS WHOLE ISSUE.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTHY, YOU SUPPORTED JOE LIEBERMAN WHEN HE RAN FOR PRESIDENT. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO LIBERALS IN YOUR PARTY?

McCarthy: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, LET'S PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE. JOE LIEBERMAN HAD JUST COME OFF BEING OUR PARTY'S VICE-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE THAT RECEIVED SEVERAL HUNDRED THOUSAND MORE VOTES THAN MR. BUSH AND MR. CHENEY, SO THAT WAS THE CONTEXT IN WHICH I SUPPORTED JOE LIEBERMAN AND WAS PROUD TO DO SO. AND THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO TELL THE MEMBERS OF MY PARTY.

Borg: I'M SORRY, GENTLEMEN, WE'RE OUT OF TIME. I'M SURE WE'RE GOING TO SEE A LOT OF YOU AS THE SESSION OPENS AND DURING THAT SESSION, SO WE'LL HAVE YOU BACK SOON.

McCarthy: THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Borg: THANKS FOR YOUR TIME TODAY. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS,' WE MOVE TO THE IOWA SENATE. COUNCIL BLUFFS DEMOCRAT MIKE GRONSTAL WILL LEAD HIS PARTY'S MAJORITY, AND HE'LL BE HERE TO PREVIEW THAT AGENDA. SAME 'IOWA PRESS' TIMES NEXT WEEKEND: THAT'S 7:30 FRIDAY NIGHT; 11:30 SUNDAY MORNING. I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

FUNDING FOR 'IOWA PRESS' WAS PROVIDED BY 'FRIENDS,' THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS.


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